The Department of Justice continues to aggressively pursue violations of export control laws, targeting individuals, defense contractors, and other businesses.

The DOJ announced this week that it charged more than 145 defendants in fiscal year 2008 with violating the Arms Export Control Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Trading with the Enemy Act, and export control provisions of the Patriot Act Reauthorization. In addition, about 110 defendants were charged in fiscal year 2007.

About 43 percent of the recent cases involved munitions or dual-use technology bound for Iran or China, the DOJ said. A significant portion of the cases involved illegal exports to Mexico.

The DOJ announcement comes a year after a multi-agency National Counter-Proliferation Initiative was launched "to combat the growing national security threat posed by illegal exports of restricted U.S. military and dual-use technology to foreign nations and terrorist organizations."

Recent U.S. District Court cases highlight the enhanced prosecutorial and investigative efforts. This week, three individuals with ties to a Singaporean import/export company were indicted on charges of conspiring to export to China controlled carbon-fiber material, with applications in rockets, satellites, spacecraft, and the uranium enrichment process. In September, eight individuals and eight companies were charged with illegally exporting Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and microcontrollers to Iran, and another company was indicted on charges of exporting dual-use and military-grade rifle scopes to Russia without proper licenses.

In addition to its enforcement efforts, the DOJ has advocated for legislative, regulatory, and policy proposals strengthening export control and embargoes. Recently, for example, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act was expanded to cover conspiracy and attempt, as well as provide enhanced criminal and administrative fines.

Ballard's White Collar Litigation Group is available to answer your questions and provide guidance on this issue. Please contact Henry E. Hockeimer Jr. at 215.864.8204 or hockeimerh@ballardspahr.com.


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